Playwright Carlyle Brown knows how to stir some echoes. His latest piece, American Family, closing April 7th at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, charts the story of a young Caucasian woman named Mary Ellen (Tracey Maloney), and her journey to mentally and emotionally find her way back to a family she was ripped from as a child due to the racially charged South.
The play sees Mary Ellen in two different lights. One as the 10-year-old who struggles to understand life apart from her dolls and youthful innocence, while the older Mary Ellen is layered in hate and confusion towards a mother and family who let her be drug from their home by an emotionless and racist father (John Middleton). Her father couldn’t fathom her growing up in a home with a Black man. No matter what Mary Ellen’s mother and stepfather do, they never are able to get her back.